Key concepts are introduced each week during lectures for this class. We will discuss many of them in our section, but may not have time to cover them all. Making sure you understand them and their contexts is your job. To prepare for the exams, start to use them in your journals.

Keywords: Advertising Lectures (April 16, 18, 23, 2012)

  • Advertising as a philosophical system
  • Commodity Self
  • Representation of gender
  • Representation of identity
  • Photogenic ideals: To become an image
  • Negative self-consciousness
  • New marketing priorities
  • New social conditions of everyday life
  • Changes in physics of perception
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • Structural changes (society)
  • Assembly line production
  • Scientific management (Frederick W. Taylor)
  • Behavioural psychology
  • 1900-1920 labor movement militancy
  • Social management
  • Christine Frederick
  • Frances Alice Kellor: American Association of Foreign Language Newspapers
  • Helen Woodward
  • Edward Filene
  • Georges Duhamel
  • Instrumental images (to promote response; influence behavior)
  • Pavlovian psychology
  • Tlazolteoltl (Aztec Moon Goddess)
  • Traditional images (rooted in experience, and material conditions)
  • Pachamama
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes (form divorced from substance; images as currency)
  • Computer images (no visible sense of human agency)


Keywords: Visual Language & Early Film; Image and Audience (March 27, April 2, 2012)

  • Tracking Shot (Soy Cuba, 1964):  Sense of Limitless Mobility
  • Walter Benjamin, “An Orchid In the Land of Technology”
  • Buster Keaton, “Sherlock, Jr.” (1924)
  • “Dream Sequence” in Sherlock, Jr. Mimicking imagination.
  • Film within a film
  • special effects, movie magic
  • film as guide to life
  • Hugo Münsterberg, The Photoplay: A Psychological Study (1916)
  • “The photoplay obeys the laws of the mind rather than those of the outer world.”
  • Sigmund Freud, Identification and projection.
  • Muybridge & Eakins
  • Peter Mark Roget, Persistence of vision
  • Nickelodeons
  • Working Class film audiences as interactive communities language of gesture vs. language of speech
  • Edwin S. Porter, “The Kleptomaniac” (Porter/Edison, 1905) social facts, the capture of the real static camera position (camera as a neutral witness)
  • D.W. Griffith, “The Corner In Wheat” (American Biograph, 1909)
  • middle class audiences (spectatorship)
  • active camera position (camera as interpreter, outlook of individual eye)
  • Walter Lippmann, Public Opinion (1922)
  • montage; juxtaposition

Keywords: The Media of Self-Improvement (March 19, 21, 2012)

  • Abraham (Ibrahim) and Isaac
  • covenant of faith
  • pre-destination
  • visible saints
  • covenant of works
  • Protestant Ethic
  • Max Weber, The Protestant ethic and the spirit of Capitalism
  • Perfectionism
  • self-made man
  • character and personality
  • virtues of the street, “street smarts”
  • intrinsic self
  • extrinsic self
  • Rags to Riches
  • Autobiography of Malcolm X
  • From life of bad faith to life of good faith

Keywords: Visual Image Lectures (March 5, 7, 12, 2012)

  • corporate—>individualist
  • hierarchical—>egalitarian
  • indecipherable—>vernacular
  • sacred—>secular
  • distant, remote—>near, accessible
  • landed value (material economy)—> portable value (symbolic economy)
  • perspective
  • Alhazen (Abu Ali Al-Hasan Ibin Al-Haytham, 965-1038)
  • Visual Truth
  • Roger Bacon
  • linear perspective
  • vanishing point
  • camera obscura
  • visual vernacular
  • chromolithography (multi-color printing technique)
  • Photography
  • Joseph Niepce
  • Louis Daguerre (daguerreotype)
  • William Henry Fox Talbot (paper negative)
  • Stereoscope and Stereograph

Keywords: Print Lectures (February 15, 21, 22, 2012)

– Panopticon
– technological determinism
– secular markets, merchant capitalism
– Johann Gutenberg (Mainz, goldsmith, moneyer)
– artisan craft (handcraft, uniqueness of objects)
– mass production (machine production, standardization of objects)
– scribal culture, monasteries, scriptorium
– Feudalism
– hierarchy
– Latin, official language of Church
– Lilith
– vernacular
– access and interpretation
– subsistence economy (arable)
– agricultural capitalism (pasturage)
– mobile wealth; mobile poverty
– world market economy
– Protestant Reformation
– Menocchio (Domenico Scandella)
– Inquisition, Council of Trent (1545-1563)
– pamphleteering
– Gerard Winstanley (True Levellers, Diggers)

Selection from Gerard Winstanley, “True Levelers Standard Advanced” (1649).

“In the beginning of time, the great creator, Reason, made the earth to be a common treasury, to preserve beasts, birds, fishes and man, the lord that was to govern this creation….Not one word was spoken in the beginning that one branch of mankind should rule over another….But…selfish imaginations did set up one man to teach and rule over another.  And thereby…man was brought into bondage, and became a greater slave to such of his own kind than the beasts of the field were to him.  And hereupon the earth…was hedged into enclosures by the teachers and rulers, and the others were made…slaves.  And that earth that is within this creation made a common storehouse for all, is bought and sold and kept in the hands of a few, whereby the great Creator is mightily dishonored, as if he were a respecter of persons, delighting in the comfortable livelihood of some and rejoicing in the miserable poverty and straits of others.  From the beginning it was not so….

[Now Winstanley turns to the lords of the manor, and speaks of their control over the land.]
“…the power of enclosing land and owning property was brought into the creation by your ancestors by the sword…and that sin of your fathers shall be visited upon the head of you and your children to the third and fourth generation, and longer too, till your bloody and thieving power be rooted out of the land….

“The poorest man hath as true a title and just right to the land as the richest man…True freedom lies in the free enjoyment of the earth…”

Fahrenheit 451, Text and Context (8 February 2012)

  • Plato’s parable of the cave, distance between perception and the material world
  • Post World War II America: Suburbs and Consumerism as a way of life
  • Book burning, destruction of knowledge
  • McCarthyism, Red Scare
  • Paradigm
  • Gender Clichés
  • Keepers of Knowledge


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